She’s at that age where she hasn’t learned to be afraid of bugs and snakes and other such things girls are not supposed to touch.  I wanted to capture some of that innocence before it’s gone.

 

 

Tomtom  Tweedel is a good friend with significant experience in China and has self-published several interesting volumes of his travels in China complete with many great images and informative narrative.  Last year he visited Thailand for the first time and I had a great time showing him around the area. Somehow he found time to put together a like 340 page book of his travels around Thailand and you can get your copy here!  I've got a copy of this book and I can tell you it's well worth it, especially for first time travelers or if you haven't seen more of Thailand than downtown Bangkok.

When Tom agreed to become part of our small select product review team I was both excited and grateful.  I hope you enjoy this and future reviews by Tom.  For those whose plans include extended travel in Thailand and China I’d recommend contacting Tom and inquiring into obtaining copies of his books.         Tom Tweedel is an Austin, TX based photographer and can be reached at: tomsds@austin.rr.com

 

 

From time to time you manage to get shots that really stand out, sometimes by design, sometimes by accident or a combination of the two. Recently I got a great sequence of my daughter dealing with a cockroach that she found at the house. She’s at that age where she hasn’t learned to be afraid of bugs and snakes and other such things girls are not supposed to touch.  I wanted to capture some of that innocence before it’s gone.

 

From time to time you manage to get shots that really stand out, sometimes by design, sometimes by accident or a combination of the two. Recently I got a great sequence of my daughter dealing with a cockroach that she found at the house. She’s at that age where she hasn’t learned to be afraid of bugs and snakes and other such things girls are not supposed to touch.  I wanted to capture some of that innocence before it’s gone. 

To catch such precious moments it’s important to be able to be able to quickly deploy your equipment and make important decisions. I had to make choices about focal length and how that affected framing and composition, I went with 150mm. Choosing the aperture with regards to depth of field (DOF) was critical as DOF wan an important element to this composition. I went with F5.6. ISO 800 ensured a fast enough shutter speed for a good shot in that condition. 

Looking through the viewfinder I and keeping in mind my limited DOF I had to choose her face or the roach as the focal point. Went for the roach knowing her face would be blurred out to a degree. It was a challenge since she and the roach were moving. 

I captured at least a dozen images in this sequence knowing I’d have at least one keeper. For me this was the best of the batch because of the compositional elements which more than make up for the technical weaknesses. When shooting people lines are one of the most important elements to consider.  Lines show relationships and connections.  In this case the lines created by her staring at the cockroach.  When you view the image you move back and forth between her eyes and the cockroach, then back again to her eyes and facial expressions.  The image captures her expressions, thoughts, and feelings. 

Processing presented more decisions about how to interpret the image. I processed for the stronger points of the image keeping the “lines” in mind. The crop was my main tool which framed the image while eliminating the extraneous. White balance, levels, saturation, sharpness and more helped to bring out the subject. As an extra touch I used the localized editing brush in Lightroom to slightly desaturate the background. Then I did another mask on the roach and adjusted the settings to make it pop. Overall I really liked it.

 

There was a second picture in the sequence that was also a winner, in fact it might have more technical and artistic merit. It has stronger focus and compositional elements. I processed it with selective desaturation to really get the effect. Same sequence but a different set of expressions. Which one is your favorite?

 

There was a second picture in the sequence that was also a winner, in fact it might have more technical and artistic merit. It has stronger focus and compositional elements. I processed it with selective desaturation to really get the effect. Same sequence but a different set of expressions. Which one is your favorite?